Tracking Brazilian Beef from Producer to US Consumer

Authors: Calli VanderWilde*, University of Michigan, Joshua P Newell, University of Michigan
Topics: Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Food Systems
Keywords: globalization, corporate actors, supply chain transparency, teleconnections, cattle, beef
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/8/2020
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Columbine, Sheraton, IM Pei Tower, Terrace Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Brazil is home to the world’s largest herd of cattle and grazing is leading to conversion of tropical forests in the Amazon and savanna woodlands in the Cerrado. Brazilian beef is being consumed across the globe, including the U.S. Supply chain analysis offers a framework to link production-to consumption but has prioritized sector-based studies rather than individual corporations. This paper tracks the supply chain of the largest producer of beef in Brazil to consumers in the U.S. using a method known as TRACAST (TRAcking Corporate Actors across Space and Time). The paper identifies and explores environmental and social hotspots that emerging from this mapping, which uses a range of datasets. This effectively reconnects consumption with production and identifies governance structures and fruitful leverage points for change.

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